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The Afternoon Show
The Afternoon ShowRTÉ One, Weekdays, 4.00pm

Vet's Clinic with Liam Moriarty - Birds

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Kobo the Parrot and other birds!
How to choose and take care of a bird pet.

Vet Liam Moriarty

Top tips from vet Liam Moriarty on looking after your bird

What kind of birds do people keep as pets?

. Budgies - good pets, live 8-10 years.
. Canaries - probably second most popular bird pet.
. Parrots live up to 40 years in captivity - some live as long as 65!

So what are our main tips for looking after them?
Choosing a bird

. Make sure you have room and can afford a decent sized cage
. Younger birds, hand reared make best pets
. Socialization important

. Bigger is better
. Clean every day - you wouldn't like to live in your toilet.
. Natural branches make the best perches - uniform perches can lead to sore feet. (Apple branches work well)
. Make it interesting for your bird - lots of toys
. Bird should be able to fly from perch to perch without hitting off things

. Most common cause of health problems in caged birds
. Birds often pick out their 1-2 of their favourite seed types from mixes and this can lead to malnutrition
. 20-25% of diet should be fresh fruit or vegetables every day. Avoid avocado. Chick peas soaked over night make a good meal.
. Fresh water every day
. Keep presenting with different foods.
Beak and Nail Care
. Beak and nails are constantly growing
. You can clip them yourself - but take care!
. Choosing the right perch type is very important.

A note for viewers regarding wild baby birds as spring approaches:
Wild baby birds/ fledglings often spend a day or two on the ground before they can fly. Usually the parents are nearby and keeping watch and it is best to leave them! Removing them will dramatically reduce their chances of survival.
For more information: